Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.
Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael
In reading this thread, the Baltimore Catechism came to mind. Question number one: Why are we here? "God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven."
I think the standard/answer for what we are called to be... single, religious, or married... is the answer to question number 1...Why are we here? Whichever of these will help us fulfill the answer to question number one is where we are to be at the time we ask the question.
Sometimes it seems like Vatican II muddied the water a bit and when answers become blurred, I go back to the Baltimore Catechism...good ole "black and white" theology. There are times when "grey" is just too blurry a guide.
Elizabeth you are a woman after my own heart. I LOVE the Baltimore Catechism.
Thanks for all the great advice and great stories everyone. Last night I began to pray for my vocation. I don't think I've ever wanted to become a nun, but not my will but God's and he will put it in my heart if he wants me to be one. Right now I'd like more than anything to become a wife and a mom. But I know I have to a least ask and pray about it.
This is a leap of logic worthy of Evel Knievel. The factors you cite demonstrate only her personal desire, not necessarily her calling: seaqrch on the Internet and you can find any number of priests or nuns who were in similar positions (usually dating rather than on a dating site, which essentially amounts to the same thing). It is incredibly reckless to make any pretense of being able to discern another person's vocation based on a few comments in an Internet forum.
And yet the basics of Ignatian Discernment deal primarily in discerning "spiritual consolation" and "spiritual desolation," BOTH having to do with HUMAN DESIRE in figuring out how God is calling a soul to Himself. This is a problem in modern spiritual discernment. We've gotten away from our rich Catholic traditions and have embraced very Protestant views of "embracing God's Will" as if God's will is always opposed to human will. This perception is the basis from which Martin Luther discerned his break with the Catholic Church - he called it "anfechtung" - a spiritual terror of God's judgment. He "overcame" (loosely used here) this terror by incorporating it into his spirituality as a necessary feeling, when in reality his terror was based on bad decisions and disobedience to God's will. Never underestimate the "gut feeling" in discernment. I am very suspicious of people who advise idealistic young people to embrace a vocation that is repulsive to them.
Jessica, I am an older lady and a widow and looking for another man. I have found that praying to the Holy Spirit is very helpful. After my husband died I needed a lot of help and He came through countless times.
Sometimes when you are down and discouraged He comes and places opportunities in your path in the most convoluted ways you can imagine. You just have to learn to recognize them! Three wonderful men have come into my life and each has helped me in one way or another learn more about myself and, I think, grow closer to God and my readiness for remarriage.
Believe it or not, I now am growing closer to a fourth gentleman...a Catholic at last! But I met him through another match site.
Try not to limit your options. Be open to moving for example.
Good luck and God Bless.
Most people are called to marriage according to the Church. It is a 'natural vocation' which began in Genesis in order to fill up the kingdom of God with souls. It is a 'natural' call meaning instilled in the human being upon creation. Christ made it a sacrament and elevated Catholic marriage into something beyond just a 'natural' thing. And this is what separates a 'natural' marriage and a 'supernatural' marriage. The life of grace flows into the souls of two baptized person who marry whereas this is not the case for two non baptized souls. To dumb it down, the sacrament of marriage makes it drawn into the life of Christ. Non baptized souls participate in 'natural' marriages.
Religious callings are completely different. They are supernatural entirely. The Holy Spirit calls out to only a few souls and it is not 'natural' in any sense. Meaning, people are not born with this vocation but receive it from the Holy Spirit. Even if a person wanted they could not join any religious order, priesthood, etc. by sheer will without it ending in complete disaster.
The real question is not how do I know I'm called to marriage but how do I know if I'm called to a religious vocation?
From friends who've entered the religious world the same desires they've related to me: dissatifaction and uneasiness with world, an incompleteness and lack of peace in dating, an unsettled soul desiring something more, high idealism; Some have dated the best people and still felt that lack of peace in that God wanted more. I truly believe that if a person seeks out his will the Lord will give to a person a great serenity not as the world gives but a calming of the spirit which confirms the truth of a religious vocation.
When I was in gradeschool there were times I thought I wanted to become a nun. I don't think it was my true calling but the power of suggestion was there as I attended Catholic school. As I matured, I knew I wanted to get marry and raise a famliy. Now that I'm single again, I have thought about possibly becoming a nun again...mostly because I'm a school teacher, and all the nuns I grew up with were school teachers. I thought maybe God gave me the talent to teach so I can later become a nun. When I reflect on these thoughts, I think this was my way of rationalizing why the right guy hasn't entered my life. I have to keep reminding myself that he will come along in God's time, and not mine.
I believe you will feel a strong urge/calling for vocation if it was meant to be. If it's just an alternative to marriage, then I don't feel it is truely a calling. Be patient, and pray about it.